17 Apr Niyama: Tapas तपस्
By Lucia Yess
In yoga, the word “tapas” comes from the Sanskrit verb “tap” which means “to burn”. Sorry it doesn’t come from the Spanish dish although those can be spicy too. This “fiery discipline,” asks for the practitioner “to burn off the impediments that keep us from being in the true state of yoga (union with the universe)” says Being Yoga.
As we burn away our limitations with tapas, we build strength to adversity, which after this Minnesota winter we all proved. When we work on our tapas we become not as concerned about the cold or the heat. Not being pulled to complain about the amount you sit vs stand. It is about having a body and mind that is able to endure and stay focused.
What do I need to have a fit body and mind? The tapas are focused on the asana (yoga posture) practice as well as the breath work (pranayama). These are outlets that allow you to get more comfortable and attuned to your truest self. Of course food and what you drink play apart of a healthy mind and body too.
When you find yourself ready to complain or get off track come back to a healthy, stable practice like yoga and get your tapas on.